HILLSBOROUGH, N.C.--Two Hillsborough police officers went out of their way to lend a helping hand to a mom after they arrested her for stealing.

On Saturday, Corporal Keith Bradshaw and Officer Candace Spragins got a call about a larceny at Food Lion.

Through security video, the officers tracked down a woman who authorities said stole $36 worth of food.

The officers told CBS Station WNCN, the mother said she was hungry and had not had any food in the house for three days and stole so she could feed her three adopted children.

Corporal Keith Bradshaw said after arresting her they looked in her fridge and saw it was bare. Even though officers still had to charge her with misdemeanor larceny, they decided to turn this into a positive outcome, especially for the children involved.

The arresting officers decided to buy the mother $140 worth of groceries so she could feed her family.

“It’s not all about just going out and charging folks,” Bradshaw said. “Sometimes you gotta go that extra mile and look for other ways of helping and improving your community and the quality of life for the people in the community. And if that improves her life a little bit and it helps her I will do it again tomorrow,” he added.

The police department posted about the incident on its Facebook page. They say it was not a crime out of greed but out of necessity to feed a child.

The woman had recently suffered a traumatic brain injury and is currently unable to work, Bradshaw said.

The officers told WNCN her story touched them and they didn’t want to miss an opportunity to give back to their community.